When I discovered the helical knitting technique it was love at first sight. After struggling with stripes when knitting in the round, and never quite finding the right solution, I new I had finally found what I wanted. This amazingly simple method for single row stripes eliminates jogs when you change colors, and there are no floats from yarn traveling between rows. Yarns in two colors travel along in a spiral like best friends taking turns. So, I was inspired to apply this new found friend to a variety of projects. I picked out pairings of solid and variegated yarns, then designed a cowl, gloves, a hat, a pair of socks, and a sweater. The knitting was very meditative, which I always enjoy, and the results were better than I had hoped for.
I have created a tutorial video so you can learn this wonderful technique. To view the video or the designer knitting patterns click the links below.
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VIDEO TRANSCRIPT - Helical Knitting Technique
Helical Knitting is a technique that's used when working in the round. It is extremely simple and it allows you to work with two colors in alternating one-row stripes so that you have no jogs on the right side of your work and no floats on the wrong side. Here's how it's done.
- Work with your first color until you're ready to join in the round.
- Take the second color, join in the round and continue to work in that color until you reach the last three stitches of the first color.
- Slip the three stitches from the left to the right needle purlwise.
- Drop the second color, pick up the first color and continue working around just like before, until you get to the last three stitches of the previous color.
- Slip the three stitches purlwise change colors and continue.
- Just keep repeating this process: work with each color to the last 3 stitches in the previous color, slip the 3 stitches, change color and continue.
- A TIP: When you get near the end of a round and you're slipping those last three stitches from the previous color make sure that the tension on those stitches is even. If there's a little extra yarn give it a slight tug to snug them up, then continue.
When knitting in the round you're actually knitting in a spiral. So, what's happening in this case when introducing the second color, the two colors are traveling together. They're taking turns and traveling so that the transition points for each round disappear. The stitches come out nice and even as the various rounds are defined. There are no jogs on the right side and no floats on the wrong side. When you get to the end of your project all you have are four tails one at the beginning and the end of each color.
This technique can be applied to lots of different projects. Here are a few of James' patterns.